Universal Access To All Knowledge
Home Donate | Store | Blog | FAQ | Jobs | Volunteer Positions | Contact | Bios | Forums | Projects | Terms, Privacy, & Copyright
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload

Reply to this post | See parent post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: ringolevio Date: Jan 22, 2010 8:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

>I suppose in effect that it comes down to proof versus faith and the difficulty of proving one way or another the existence of something that is, almost by definition, beyond the bounds of direct experience.

But a lot of things that are beyond the bounds of direct experience are proven. I think more to the point is that it's often impossible to prove a negative. Believers will insist "you can't prove there's no god" and don't seem to mind that while this is true, it's irrelevant.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 22, 2010 9:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Right--there really is a simple demarcation with respect to science and its domain (the natural world, explanations for it, and how to best go about understanding it and predicting things [epistomology]) vs matters of faith, ethics, and really, all the important stuff in this world for which science is equally irrelevant.

As I often tell my students, "in the same fashion you don't want religious presumptions to serve as a backdrop for your understanding of the natural world and natural phenomena, you certainly don't want a bunch of nerds in white lab coats (Larry? Tell? You must be kidding!) occupying a position of authority when it comes to issues like 'what is good?' or 'what is an ethical life?' or 'how best can society serve the interests of individuals and the greater good?', right?"

Science is really a very restrictive domain; not the only way to gain a progressive understanding of the world around us, and certainly full of pitfalls and problems, but it is the best system yet developed for addressing issues like putting some clown on the moon, or developing a treatment program for prostate cancer (yeah!), etc., etc.

So, the popular notion that science and religion are thus entirely separate realms of understanding is of course, fundamentally true, but in general, for those that practice science day in and day out, it comes down to what Rob said, and as usually, he nails it: because we can't know, and it seems to serve no purpose (IOHO), it really is an academic pursuit...with little significance (no wonder I spend so much time on it, eh?).

Hope this hasn't been too much of a soap box thread--dreaded waking up this morning and finding criticism of my having gone off on this tangent, but assume by the responses above, the few, the bored, the eccentric joined in and all I can say is "don't encourage me!"...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: elbow1126 Date: Jan 22, 2010 9:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

I suspect if you polled my current and former students and postdocs they would probably tell you that I am pretty good at preaching, but i don't think the gospel according to elbow is best delivered on sunday mornings.

Your are quite correct and I think that is the part that gets lost in the "religion vs. science" debate. There is no moral right and wrong in science while that seems to be imo one of the two important roles that religion should play. To help explain the difference between right and wrong and to help people cope with the unexplainable. The former doesn't change while the latter does, in part due to science. Not sure all (any?) religions deal with that change so well.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: spacedface Date: Jan 22, 2010 5:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

"There is no moral right and wrong in science "

Choices in funding and national character mostly determine the results of science. It's not like we're just digging randomly for information on certain kinds of genetics, quarks and bosons, climate changes, or cave art. It's not like great men are finding hidden treasure -- it's more like we're looking in a mirror.

With technology this is even greater -- artifacts do have politics, to quote Langdon Winner. The social organization and requirements of nuclear power means a far different set of centralization and reverse human adaptation than decentralized solar, renewables, and conservation.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: elbow1126 Date: Jan 22, 2010 8:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

don't confuse science with scientists or worse the funding of science. I was only saying that science is not where one should look to determine what is morally right and wrong. Those questions are not answered by science.

As for what science gets done, the unfortunate truth is that the funds are limited and for those of us who review grant applications that are going to use federal funding, we owe it to the tax payers to try to pick the applications that will likely be the most successful. Unfortunately that probably does restricts advancement to some extent.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: spacedface Date: Jan 23, 2010 7:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

I'm not confused. Science is a pretty good way to reach some consensus about knowledge, but the point is that it is conditioned as well as conditional.

Much of science is benign if not very useful, which is not so bad in an era headed for self-destruction.

This post was modified by spacedface on 2010-01-23 15:30:52

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 23, 2010 7:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

True about much of science...a great deal of what I do would be classified under "who cares?" (always recall my father-in-law saying "you actually can get paid for doing this?!").

But, you never know when a factoid on the science as body biz will come to some immensely useful purpose: eg, my very good buddies, the Gila monsters, whose venom is now providing a variety of vital components in various disease treatment plans (eg, diabetes, etc.).

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: spacedface Date: Jan 23, 2010 7:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Yah I do get into grand overstatements.

Perhaps the most interesting undergrad professor I had was a biologist. I came in prepared for boredom and he made it my most exciting class. It was too late to switch majors and avoid the droney teachers though.

There can be real value in what may appear useless or tedious to some, as so many nature documentaries show.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 23, 2010 9:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Ha--yep, not many of my nonbio profs held my attn...and though it reeks of "group hug/self-congratulatoy" babble, enjoyed our discussions immensely, SF...great fun. Educational too! If we keep this up, though, the powers that be hereabouts just might put us all in our own "DEAD inspired topics of the mundane, unanswerable, and esoteric" subforum!?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: spacedface Date: Jan 23, 2010 10:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

I don't know about a subforum.

I'm more bugged now by how Cliff likes 1-20-68 better than 1-22. I need to revisit the 1st half of '68.

This post was modified by spacedface on 2010-01-23 18:01:30

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 23, 2010 9:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Geez, Tell! are you still banging on with this godbothering stuff? Get ye to the subforum!


change_of_subject_seal.png

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: spacedface Date: Jan 23, 2010 10:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Bob, Bobby, whoever, is one scary cult leader. He's a genius at putting together paranoid fantasies that seem so real.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 23, 2010 10:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

And who's to say they're not?

:-)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: spacedface Date: Jan 23, 2010 11:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

I guess you've got to learn to live with what you can't rise above if you want to ride on down in through this tunnel of love.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 23, 2010 11:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Well I don't care how many girls you've dated, man
But you ain't lived till you've had your tires rotated

By a red headed woman
A red headed woman
It takes a red headed woman
To get a dirty job done

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: bluedevil Date: Jan 23, 2010 10:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

GIVE ME SLACK!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 23, 2010 10:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

F.E.I.T.C.T.A.J.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: bluedevil Date: Jan 23, 2010 10:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

I've missed X-Day for well over a decade. Maybe next time.

http://www.myspace.com/ivanstang

Here's to a worthy TDIH:

http://www.archive.org/details/radams2008-01-23.sbd.flac16

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 23, 2010 10:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Funny you should mention Ryan. Just been listening to a nice compilation of his Dead covers. Knowing you you'll already have it - but just in case:

http://www.ryanadamsarchive.com/showthread.php?p=61815#post61815

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: bluedevil Date: Jan 23, 2010 10:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Thanks; I didn't. Will check it out. Hope he's getting bored with married life and ready to get back out there....

Kudos to Phil for helping get him and Jackie G out to a wider audience

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 23, 2010 11:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Absolutely second those Phil kudos. You'll doubtless have checked out this Jackie G show with Phil and Bob guesting

http://www.archive.org/details/jgreene2009-02-18.lou.flac16

I kind of liked it - and judging by the whooping and hollering the audience did too...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ringolevio Date: Jan 22, 2010 10:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Well, you have more credibility than I do saying so, since you're a scientist and I'm not, but I think the idea that science and religion are separate realms and should stay off each other's territory is overblown. What actually bothers a lot of religious people is precisely that science *does* have a lot to say about many religious topics. Religious people just don't like the answers.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: high flow Date: Jan 22, 2010 11:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Yes to all. I understand now. I require no further convincing.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Jan 22, 2010 12:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Hey high flow you actually are following this and all you can chime in with is "I'm convinced"?

Come-on add you 3 cents

Hey Will (Arrow Boy) Tell, Can I quote you on the "Blah Blah Blah"?

Woooooooo Hoooooooooo
Gotta love the fob
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1978-01-22.fob.akgd224e.holwein.motb-0086.101436.flac16

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 22, 2010 12:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Yes, that was why I said the "notion of independence..." or whatever...it is defn oversimplified.

Strictly speaking, though, at the most basic level, it's true since they deal with diff components of the human condition (science really is about explaining the natural world; to the degree your religion intrudes on naturalistic explanations, you are right--religion always loses to science)...what I would say is that the really important stuff, like ethics, culture, blah, blah, blah, is largely uninformed by "science".

This may really upset folks, but a classic example of how science does not provide IMPORTANT information on the REAL issue, is to take abortion debates and the absurd question often asked "when does life start for an individual?" (which some religious sorts have asked me thinking "this is where science CAN help my case against prochoice folks!"). The answer disturbs both sides since it is "life never stops...the question doesn't make sense since sperm and egg are most defn 'alive' and thus, it is NOT a scientific issue because what we really want to know is when is an individual an individual, and this depends on your view of ethics, individuality,...blah, blah, blah"

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 12:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

I would argue that ethics and morality should be held apart from, though informed by, both science and religion. Surely, if we are to achieve some sort of maturity as a species, we can determine on a way of behaving towards each other that is neither dependent on the cold logic of scientific rigour, nor on the arbitrary rewards and punishments of a putative deity.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 22, 2010 12:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Hey!? I thought this is how I was supposed to "run" this place: "...the arbitrary rewards and punishments of a putative deity."

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 12:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

"We're going to pause for about three or four seconds and scratch our asses and think it over." Robert Hall Weir.

So, Diane couldn't name that show. How about you, big brain?


(Marvel at the way in which I inexorably swing the discussion back to the GRATEFUL DEAD - whoever those bums are...)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: cush212 Date: Jan 22, 2010 3:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

You do quite often amaze yourself Rob...

;)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 22, 2010 2:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Didn't know, but here you go (it's in there somewheres):

http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=222903

[see? I can find threads with the best of em]

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 2:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Cheat! (But yeah it's there!)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 22, 2010 3:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

I don't actually listen to that one much...Oct of 71, right? Or was it 70? Can't recall--too lazy. Have a good rest of the (late) evening, Rob!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 4:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

10-30-71, just before Truckin'.

It's just gone midnight here and I'm going to sign off from the forum, but thanks to you, Larry, jg, Cliff, ringo, mando, ghost, cush, snori, Miss D, and doubtless others I'm too tired to bring to mind for a damn fine day. Goodnight all.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 22, 2010 6:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Good night! And good morning now...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Jan 23, 2010 5:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Good Morning William (PM) Tell

Off to go frostbite sailing this AM. Should be good; cool, clear mid to high 30s with a 10 kt NE breeze.

Fun thread yesterday eh -- science and religion -- almost as much fun as politics. I heard a blue state is turning red somewhere in the North East.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 23, 2010 7:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Burrr! Jeeezzz....just thinking about your day makes me cold! Storms have let up out West here for a bit...

Have a great day, j! And yep, looks like Teddy et al. have given up the control of Dire's neighborhood...if I have my geography right.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: bluedevil Date: Jan 22, 2010 4:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

just remember, there's nothing at the end of the rainbow....

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 4:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

But I'll be a friend I'll tell you what's in store ...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: billydlions Date: Jan 22, 2010 9:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Hey Tell, I promise this is my one and only religious post (isn't this a GD forum?). You're a scientific guy, and I have no idea where you stand on the issue (nor am I asking), but isn't there only 2 ways to look at this: 1) you believe and you're wrong or 2) you dont believe and you're wrong. so what are the potential consequences of each. 1) I cant think of any negatives for the time and money I've given the church given what I've gotten out of it (friends, support of good causes, etc) 2) consequences for #2- we'll I'm not going there, but that's something each person needs to decide.

I'm just curious how you would apply a reasonable rationalization for this. On that note I'll shut up.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 9:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Can't you believe and be right? Or not believe and be right?
Anyway, this argument is along the lines of Pascal's wager, which can be simplified as ‘If God does not exist, one will lose nothing by believing in him, while if he does exist, one will lose everything by not believing.’

The probability of god's existence logically, I guess, is 0.5 - either there is or there isn't with no possibility of an inbetween solution. On those grounds, it may be argued, that it takes cast-iron cojones to be an atheist in that you chance losing an eternity of paradise in exchange for a lifetime of being a smartass. But seemingly I'm still a smartass.


"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
Stephen F Roberts

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 22, 2010 10:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

This is why that movie quote by Kirk Douglas as Odysseus has such appeal to the two of us (the one about his rejection of immortality for the joy of the mortal life...never could find the antecedent in either of Homer's tomes; well, the gist is there, but nothing like the screenwriter's version!).

I'll go on an odyssey ANYTIME with you, my fine word-crafting friend!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 10:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

At the risk of incurring the wrath of the Arbinator (whose existence cannot be doubted) I shall take this Facebook moment to say what a great joy it is to be on this forumite odyssey with you. (You take Scylla, I'll grab Charybdis...)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Jan 22, 2010 10:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Don't forget us Catholics we can believe and be smartasses

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 22, 2010 9:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Ha! Hey, as long as no one else tells us to shut up, WTF? It's our own little thread buried down here, not at the top of the board, so no big deal, right?

I'd say the proposition you outline is a really an example of rather silly proposition (sorry, but think about it objectively as I outline below): it only seems reasonable to you because of 2000 yrs of culturally history. Seriously.

Imagine what this conversation would look like: you arrive in the New World, and you outline the Christian background to the heathens, and then conclude with the choice just outlined above. They chat among themselves, and then give YOU the exact same proposition, BUT now they substitute their silly notions (to you anyway) about the Mother God of Earth, and the Spirit of the Wolf, blah, blah, blah...they give you the same choice: believe and no harm, but some good MAY come. Deny and some harm MAY come, so why don't you go along?

Well, of course in this case, you CAN'T go along with their Gods because of YOUR religion.

But, if you were me, a scientist, would you go along with the heathen's proposals?

I know you'll know be inclined to defend your religion (Christianity I assume) is "better" than the heathens, etc., etc., etc.

But, I would ask, just think about that a while. It cannot be decided, unless you argue ethics, independent of deities...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: billydlions Date: Jan 22, 2010 10:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Good points as expected. Of course I look at it as having only 1 choice: there is some God out there (call it whatever name you'd like) or there is none. We all have free will to choose to believe or not believe with whatever else comes with that. I guess I'm saying I have no regrets either way! Now back to the music.

p.s. you are one of the few who can debate with civility which I guess attracts me to offer my opinions, however silly they may be. Cheers!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 22, 2010 10:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Thanks, BD--much appreciated. I always enjoy our chats as well.

And, for what's worth to you, in spite of the appearance of hypocrisy (I actually think not, but understand the notion), I have a huge amount of christianity/catholic guilt (ha, but truly!)/jesuit background as an Irish Catholic by upbringing, and in spite of all the negative stuff that was brought up about organized religion, like Rob said, there is a LOT of GOOD in that cultural baggage too...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Jan 22, 2010 9:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Sounds like you've given this some thought

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKvURliwsfY&;feature=related

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 9:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Just to be clear, in this instance I was specifically referring to god as being 'beyond the bounds of direct experience'.

But I think I want to take issue with your statement that 'a lot of things that are beyond the bounds of direct experience are proven'. I have to ask, which things? Scientific knowledge, which is the best kind we have, is uncertain and contingent. As Richard Feynman said: '..what we call scientific knowledge today is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty. Some of them are most unsure; some of them are nearly sure; but none is absolutely certain.'

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ringolevio Date: Jan 22, 2010 10:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Most things science has proven are beyond the bounds of direct experience, aren't they?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 11:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Well no. I can demonstrate experimentally that if I drop zinc into hydrochloric acid I'll get hydrogen every time, which I can ignite and experience that characteristic popping sound. Or more simply than that, I can show that pure water will freeze at 0C and boil it at 100C - both within the realms of everyday experience. Does these things come under the umbrella of scientific proof?

(Elbow and Tell feel free to jump in at any time!)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ringolevio Date: Jan 22, 2010 11:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

It depends on how you define direct experience or observation. Huge parts of what science knows today, it knows through techniques and technologies that go well beyond what humans can observe or experience directly. I mean, if we relied on direct experience, we wouldn't know that most of the universe is even out there.

But yeah we need real scientists to say something real about this, I'm usually just opining ignorantly on these topics.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 11:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

"if we relied on direct experience, we wouldn't know that most of the universe is even out there"

Well we can look and see. Science is founded on observation and experimentation and using telescopes, microscopes, spectrometers and whatever other tools we can fabricate to extend our senses isn't cheating or taking things out of the realm of experience.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ringolevio Date: Jan 22, 2010 11:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Yeah - if you define direct observation to include telescopes and microscopes etc. I was defining it more strictly.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 11:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

So how strict were you being? Do you believe, for example, that bacteria might not actually exist because no one can see them with the naked eye? I guess there's a possibility that the diseases and other phenomena we attribute to bacteria might just be the work of mischievious invisible demons, but then again...


"We're going to pause for about three or four seconds and scratch our asses and think it over." Robert Hall Weir.

bonus deadhead points if you can name that show :-)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ringolevio Date: Jan 22, 2010 12:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

>So how strict were you being? Do you believe, for example, that bacteria might not actually exist because no one can see them with the naked eye?

No, no, I'm arguing the opposite, I'm on your side :)

>I guess there's a possibility that the diseases and other phenomena we attribute to bacteria might just be the work of mischievious invisible demons, but then again...

I'm saying that if we weren't willing to accept as proof things that aren't directly observable, we would still be at the stage where we did attribute disease to demons. (Of course, a frightening percentage of the world's population *does* believe such things, or things that sound a little less wifty but come down to the same.)

>"We're going to pause for about three or four seconds and scratch our asses and think it over." Robert Hall Weir.

>bonus deadhead points if you can name that show :-)

No but let me know which show it is LOL.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: spacedface Date: Jan 22, 2010 4:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

I think I met a demon at a GD show. But every dog has his day.

It burn off both your ears if I told you all that went down.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: elbow1126 Date: Jan 22, 2010 11:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

It think there is a little bit of apples and oranges to this discussion. As Rob points out scientific knowledge is not static however you are asking for things that are proven by science. I tend to think of these in terms of the Laws of science and most of those are proven and well within the bounds of experience (e.g. gravity). I don't think there will be an experiment that could definitively prove Darwin was correct, however the data that exists is overwhelming and more important never flies in the face of the theory.

Can you give me an specific example of the type of proof you had in mind as being out the bounds of experience? That might help.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ringolevio Date: Jan 22, 2010 11:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

I think we're just defining terms differently. Evolution makes a great example. We don't observe it directly, it's quite counterintuitive, and as far as I understand it's likely there will never be proof (which is why intelligent design-ers keep saying, "It's just a theory").

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: elbow1126 Date: Jan 22, 2010 11:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Who is defining terms differently? You initially asked about what science has proven but the discussion keeps falling back to scientific knowledge. I was just trying to say that having knowledge does not prove a theory and using evolution as the example.


I always thought the responsibility of science was as much to disprove hypotheses as to try to support them. When they can't be disproven and when the data overwhelming support the theory, as has been the case of Darwin, the theories are accepted even if they can never be proven. If it could be proven it would be law not a theory, like gravity.

However my question still stands. Can you give me an example of what science has proven that is out of the bounds of everyday experience?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ringolevio Date: Jan 22, 2010 12:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

I gotta get back to work and I am obviously not expressing myself clearly here. Context: I'm an atheist - not arguing for "design" here in any way. I was just trying to say that "experience" isn't really the criterion science relies on mainly to "prove" anything. Lots of things are proven that completely defy ordinary human experience. Such as, the earth is round, and whirling through space. My experience says it is flat and standing still.

We're just arguing about what "experience" means, I think -you're including use of high-tech devices as part of human experience and of course you're right, I was referring to more "direct" experience, defining "direct" much more strictly, as things we can see, feel, touch etc. We can't see most of the celestial bodies without telescopes, for instance, yet we are certain they are there.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 22, 2010 7:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

Ha--missed all this stuff today on the other aspects of science...

Mixing "paradigms", "theories", "hypotheses", and "facts" in these exchanges above.

Science is both a way of knowing, and a body of knowledge.

Paradigms, like evolution and relativity, and "accepted as true", and not likely to be refuted by individual experiments.

Science as a way of knowing is: referential to natural law; observable; explanatory; falsifiable (statements have to have content); and tentative.

Science as a body of knowledge is fun facts and figures, and well supported paradigms and theories.

Recall that strictly speaking, nothing in science is ever, EVER, proven true. Rather, it has withstood so many tests it is accepted as "true" for the time being...

Enough of lec 101 for the night!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: cush212 Date: Jan 22, 2010 8:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

My dear Brother Tell... Somehow I suspect That you occaisanly escape from 1968...

;)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 12:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

"If it could be proven it would be law not a theory, like gravity."

And yet Newton's law of gravitational attraction was superceded by Einstein's notion of spacetime warping. And that's what I love. The idea, the total acceptance, that there might be a better explanation around the corner, that it's totally worthwhile to keep on looking. And this surely is where science and religion part company in that religion works on the assumption that the 'answer' has already been handed down and it's sheer folly, not to say sinful, to question and look for something else.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: elbow1126 Date: Jan 22, 2010 12:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

i thought i could slip that one by. Foolish of me. Although one might argue that he changed (expanded?) the laws of gravity. No small feat nonetheless.

I would argue what Einstein did was the example I have been asking for. The ability to observe the effects of gravity on light was no small feat and out of the realm of everyday experience.

However it was also Einstein who could not deal with the implications of some of his own findings and inserted a constant in one of his equations. That constant prevented his equation from suggesting that the universe was expanding. Worked well for Hubble though.

As for the point about science and religion, that was exactly what i was attempting to say above. Once again you say it much better than I.

This post was modified by elbow1126 on 2010-01-22 20:25:48

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 12:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

I didn't think for one second that you were trying to slip one by, but it's just a good example of how science continues to move forward, and also how even the best and the brightest can get it wrong. (Although haven't recent theories of dark energy tended to support Einstein's cosmological constant in that the big bang expansion isn't slowing as theory predicted it would? But I guess being right accidentally doesn't quite count ...)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 22, 2010 8:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: All crows are black...Rob, elb, & Ring-a-lo

As mentioned below, most accept the falsification demarcation in science today...and yes, we can never know something to be true, but we can, with subtle asides I leave aside, KNOW something to be false.

Thus my comment below, scientists are in the biz of accumulating unfalsified theories, and we do refer to them as "proven" but you are absolutely right, Rob...we shouldn't, and I've been telling my students that for 30 yrs...

Now, the apples and oranges biz that elb, ring-0 and you were involved in, to me, came across as exactly that...

When we say "observable", it can indirect, as your excellent examples demonstrate. Most of nuclear physics is of this nature. Yet, it is distinctly observable when we derive a prediction that if true, would falsify the theory, and test it in the real world ("substance X should do Y when we do Z to it...ah ha! I just saw Z happen!"). Conversely, we often say these counter results "support" or "prove" the theory, but it's just like counting black crows.

When can you say "all crows are black"? When you've counted every one...whoops...another hatched in Scotland! But of course, you can know this statement is false in one instance...and it also "proves" (har) why that statement, which is falsifiable, is a more useful statement than the wishy washy "some crows may sometimes be black" (info content = zero...think about it...right?).

There, did you ever imagine I could be this pedantic?

Of course you did!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Jan 22, 2010 1:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)


re: "religion works on the assumption that the 'answer' has already been handed down and it's sheer folly, not to say sinful, to question and look for something else"

I don't think that is necessarily true, I am Catholic (as you all know by now) and what I've been taught is simply the lesson of Jesus, which at the most basic level is Believe in Jesus as the Son of God and you will be saved (sins forgiven etc . . .), This teaching has nothing to do with and is not mutually exclusive from the quest for knowledge of our physical universe or our metaphysical reality. At least in my mind it doesn't. Granted there are plenty of religious types that go beyond the core teachings of their faith and make up all sorts of hard and fast rules but that is simply man mucking up religion which should be purely spiritual.

But what do I really know?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: spacedface Date: Jan 22, 2010 4:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God - non dead (or perhaps dead, according to Nietzsche)

"you can't prove there's no god"

You can't and it does matter because claiming the contrary is an assumption that violates method, one that denies personal reports.

Consensus reality isn't the final word. Great name for record label though.